PARK FREE AND EASY

Carpark: Coun­cil vows to start work on spa­ces af­ter Easter

Penrith Press - - FRONT PAGE - Is­abell Petrinic

WORK­ERS and shop­pers in the Pen­rith cen­tral busi­ness district can breathe a sigh of re­lief: a new carpark has been promised by the coun­cil.

Pen­rith Coun­cil has con­firmed the 115-space free all-day carpark will be built be­hind the Woodriff Gar­dens Ten­nis Cen­tre. Work will be­gin af­ter the Easter long week­end, with 159 spa­ces to be added later.

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter Pen­rith State Lib­eral MP Stu­art Ayres at­tacked the coun­cil in Par­lia­ment, ac­cus­ing it of fail­ing to de­liver any new per­ma­nent park­ing for the com­mu­nity since the 1980s.

REAL CBD park­ing re­lief is in sight with Pen­rith Coun­cil con­firm­ing it will start work on a new per­ma­nent carpark af­ter the Easter long week­end.

The new carpark, be­hind the Woodriff Gar­dens Ten­nis Cen­tre, will im­me­di­ately cre­ate 115 free all-day car spa­ces.

Wayne Mitchell, coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive man­ager for en­vi­ron­ment and city de­vel­op­ment, said a fur­ther 159 per­ma­nent park­ing spots would be de­liv­ered later in the year “fur­ther west” of this site.

“We need to do drainage be­fore we can build that ex­ten­sion,” he said.

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter the coun­cil was dealt a ver­bal blow by Pen­rith state Lib­eral MP Stu­art Ayres over its per­ceived fail­ure to de­liver timely CBD park­ing.

In a pri­vate mem­bers state­ment on April 4, Mr Ayres told Par­lia­ment that while his gov­ern­ment had de­liv­ered “con­sis­tently over the last six years” new car park­ing, the “only mul­ti­storey carpark” the coun­cil had built was in Judges Place in the 1980s.

He said Pen­rith Mayor John Thain and Coun­cil­lor Karen McKe­own were more fo­cused on their “civil war” to be the La­bor can­di­date for Pen­rith in the up­com­ing state elec­tion.

“You’ve got John Thain ... who’s got all the sup­port of the lo­cals,” Mr Ayres said.

“Then you’ve got Karen McKe­own who’s got the strings at­tached of Sus­sex Street (La­bor head­quar­ters) telling her all the things that she needs to do.”

He said they need to put

their “lit­tle civil war away” and “ac­tu­ally start de­liv­er­ing for the com­mu­nity”.

The coun­cil­lors say they are dis­ap­pointed he de­cided to make this a per­sonal at­tack.

“We have reg­u­lar catchups with him, and he’s never brought this up in those meet­ings,” Mayor Thain said.

He said the coun­cil had pre­vi­ously an­nounced plans to pay for and build a new decked 1000-space carpark on Union Rd with “coun­cil spe­cial rate vari­a­tion” funds.

Wayne Mitchell, coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive man­ager for en­vi­ron­ment and city de­vel­op­ment, said the new Union Rd park­ing would be free for users.

Mr Mitchell said: “We’ve been build­ing a lot of tem­po­rary park­ing on all avail­able sites of the city for many years – on Re­serve St, Sta­tion St, Soper Place.

“We’ve also been con­tin­u­ously re­view­ing our time re­stric­tions, and line­marked to cre­ate ad­di­tional spa­ces.”

Pen­rith Coun­cil should lis­ten to the cham­ber. A lack of park­ing is thwart­ing busi­ness

Stu­art Ayres

MP Stu­art Ayres with Ros­alie Pol­lett from Polly’s Beads and Gor­don Hen­wood and (in­set) the Pen­rith Com­muter Carpark up­grade.

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